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Stationery Academy | My Experience

businessRyann JarrardComment

It is hard to believe that I attended Stationery Academy in New Orleans almost exactly a YEAR ago! When I decided to register - it was a huge step in my business because up until that point, I hadn't invested back in my business at all. I definitely ulcerated about the financial investment but looking back now, it was one of the best things I've done for my business! I'm going to share my top 3 take aways from Stationery Academy in hopes that it will give you a little insider knowledge as to why this conference really is a MUST for invitation designers.

1. The friends I made. Not only am I a part of an accountability group of about 5 women that I met at SA - I'm also a part of the private alumni FB group. Y'all - these women are a priceless resource. They lift me up when I am down and cheer me on with the big wins in my business. Plus, they just get it, really and truly. Also, if I have a question about ANYTHING paper related, its usually very quickly answered by very knowledgable folks. Priceless.

2. My worth as a business owner. After SA, I realized that I needed to charge more because my time is valuable and I really am a talented designer. The clients that don't want to pay my prices aren't my ideal client. End of story.

3. How to style stationery. This may sound silly but styling is a HUGE part of selling online and with all of the social media out there - this is a skill I really needed to master. Thanks to a quick break out session from the VERY TALENTED Natalie Chang - I learned tricks that have stuck with me and made a big difference in my photos. For example - elevating one of the pieces in the frame on a roll of washi tape! Its just that simple folks!

I know I said three - but here's an extra! I LOVE that SA encourages past attendees to become speakers at future conferences! The photo below is of Liz Cooke (of Lionheart Prints). She is an AMAZING hand letterer and you may have seen some of her work in Urban Outfitters. Well, here is my shameless plug for this brilliant woman who taught at SA NOLA - she is currently in the running for $25k to open a brick and mortar store in her hometown of New Orleans. I would be thrilled if you would take a moment and vote for Liz. Her winning is like our whole group winning. You can vote here through March 7. She's currently second y'all! 

Interested in attending Stationery Academy?! Unfortunately - the one conference this year is taking place next week in Pensacola and is full. BUT- there is a new option for online learning called Creatives Academy and you can take it from the comfort of your own home! 

All photos from Morgan Sasser Photography.

Business goals for 2016

business, BloggingRyann JarrardComment
2016goalsetting.jpg

As the new year starts, I have big goals for my business and I thought it might be a good idea to share them with y'all so that a) I'm held accountable and b) to encourage everyone to dream big in the new year! So here they are in no particular order:

  • BRANDING
    • Finish this site! I'm close to being done for now but there are a few more listings to be added
  • LOCAL MARKETING
    • Reach out to at least 5 new local event planners with a goodie box
    • Are you a Houston event planner or know one that's great? I'd love to hear from you!
  • SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULING
    • For now I'd like to post to Instagram once a day; blog once a week and use Facebook a few times a week
    • This is a hard one because I feel like I make a schedule and then never stick to it, you know?! 
    • Do y'all have any secret weapons you'd like to share for streamlining social media?
  • SEO
    • Hire an SEO expert so that more lovely folks like y'all find me 
  • TIME MANGEMENT
    • As some of you may know - I have two kids. One is 6 and a kindergartener and the other is (almost) 3 and attends school Tuesdays and Thursdays. My big personal/business goal for 2016 is to use my time wisely while both kids are in school so that I really limit how much I sit at the computer when either or both of them are home.

Now I'd love to hear from you! What are your big goals {professional or personal} for 2016?